Liz Graham
Demo Project: Counting With Students
Manipulatives provide visible models that help students solve problems and develop concepts. It is a form of “hands-on” learning.

Introduction to Graduate Class:
Mention a few different ways that this literacy activity can be implemented
  • Vocabulary activity in third grade
  • Social studies lesson for fifth grade – demonstrating how many settlers died, percentages, statistics, fractions
  • First grade math unit on coins – understanding the value of nickels
  • Word problems
  • Music lesson – each student is a particular sound or note (a cappella, hocket)
Describe the lesson, mentioning that in a real kindergarten class children would cut out their own pictures. In this lesson, the pictures will have been already cut out to save time. This is an introduction to the concept of subtraction, which will lead in future lessons to written equations and subtraction using numbers up to 10.

  • Text: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
  • Hand-out: images of a bed and five monkeys for each student
  • Pair of scissors for each student
  • An open space for jumping and counting

Introduction to Kindergarten Class:
  • This lesson will be the very beginning of a kindergarten subtraction unit.
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed – using literature, rhyme, and schema to introduce a new Math topic.
  • Counting in this unit will go from 0 to 5.
  • Discuss the words associated with addition (with, together, all together, and, plus) and subtraction (take away/from, remove).
  • Demonstrate subtraction with fingers. Have the students imitate.

Reading the book:
  • Ask class if anyone has read this story before.
  • Encourage students to join in with an appropriate voice at “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” only.
  • Read the book aloud. Prompt with questions (“How many will be left?”)

Tangible Manipulatives Activity (paper monkeys on a bed):
  • Show worksheet and introduce activity – cut out monkeys and place them on the paper bed. If they are done early, they may begin coloring their monkeys.
  • Hand out worksheets and scissors.
  • Have the students perform subtraction, starting with 5 minus 1, 4 minus 1, etc. and moving on to 3 minus 2, 4 minus 2, 5 minus 3, 5 minus 5, etc.

Visual Manipulatives Activity (children as monkeys in front of the class):
  • Describe what will happen – I will ask 5 students (chose ones who seem particularly energetic) to come to the front of the room and jump around. When I pat them on the head, they will sit down to the side of the area.
  • Nominate 5 students to be the monkeys. Have them come up.
  • Simplify the rhyme to suit the situation: “Here are 5 monkeys jumping on the bed, Travis fell off and bumped his head. Momma called the doctor and the doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” Then ask the children how many monkeys are left. Next time, have 2 monkeys fall off, then all of the monkeys.

Wrap-Up and Clean Up:
  • Paper clip monkeys and bed or put them in individual envelopes for each student.
  • Instruct the students that they can take these home to practice.
  • Have students put their envelopes in their cubbies/boxes/home folders/backpacks.
  • Review: “How many monkeys were supposed to be jumping on the bed? How many monkeys were jumping on the bed? How many fell off at a time? How many fell off by the end?”
  • Imply more subtraction for next Math lesson, fostering excitement!